I posted on here a couple of weeks back asking about cutting back gaming vs quitting and the various amazing response made me realise I should probably own up to the fact I've had a problem for years so now I'm here for the real deal. Experimenting with the idea of abstaining completely. No idea if it's forever (because right now I still have a large part of my brain saying "but everyone else loves games, you should too when you can handle them healthily!" but I do believe it's important to try life without it for a bit and see where it gets me. I'm three weeks in now and things are already getting messy.
Anyway a bit about me. 29, living in Central London, UK. Have gamed since as long as I can remember, starting out on a chunky old Amstrad 286. Got an N64 in my early teens and then a PC. This was when I'd find myself up until 4am nightly. The sun rising being my cue to finally sleep. Got caught up in really crappy online RPG's during college, which was even worse because they were endless and to use free servers we used Polish ones. I don't speak a word of Polish so it wasn't like I could even socialise on them! This was also pretty awful timing because my single sex school combined with the local girls school, which should have been prime time for learning valuable social skills. Instead I've just wound up with years of social anxiety.
Once I got to university I got distracted by girls, alcohol and generally running around like an idiot so I came out of my shell a LOT but I was still playing multiplayers via the campus network and console multiplayering.
I wrote my final year dissertation on gaming addiction and unwhittingly discovered I had most of the symptoms back in college. I actually lost marksbecause I accidentally wrote about my personal experiences too much. Decided to quit online gaming there and then and have honoured it ever since.
Fast forward ten more years and I'm coming out of the tail end of two years of depression and an abusive relationship (my sixth failed). My counsellor is helping me fight all my vices, including alcohol, porn and bad sleep patterns. The problem now is that technology has out-dated my "no online gaming" rules and the environments and ENDLESS list of quests you can run around mindlessly achieving are MASSIVE. Now it doesn't matter that i'm offline, I still get lost in the things for hours. Not to a totally destructive level because I still manage to hold up a busy freelance job but I do find it physically impossible to give myself time limits. "oh I can probably get away with just another half an hour" being my favourite.
Now I'm three weeks in to no gaming (Christmas parties and family holiday made it easy for the first two) and I've managed to resist returning back to my half completed Witcher 3 profile. My housemate just bought the new tomb raider which I've been looking forward to for literally years but so far I haven't cracked. In fact I've even gone through phases of looking at it from the outside and watching him aimlessly do exactly the same thing over and over again and just get frustrated. The most noticeable thing so far is the amount of free time I have to fill. I've already become a lot more creative and am painting and considering taking up piano but I didn't expect to feel overwhelmingly lonely. Turns out I used gaming to fill this void and my resultant social anxiety is stopping me reaching out. Hence dipping my toes in these forums.
So um, yeah! That's me! Thanks for reading!